antivirus false positives

Lately we have been inundated with emails warning about TinyOffice containing virus and trojan activity, flagged by a popular antivirus site, virustotal.com. The false positives seem to be all generated by one of the programs bundled in TinyOffice — HFS file server.

The reports from this site are 100% false positives. All of the assertions that are made by various file scanners offer vague claims of malware, and none of them are even in consensus as to a specific infection! The program in TinyOffice which is in question, HFS, is also open source, so one can examine its code and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is in fact no malware of any kind in it! (It is likely the best single reason for using open source software when one can)

This is an ongoing problem that plagues many legitimate software developers, and is due to the irresponsibility of the large corporate antivirus industry itself, who profit largely on fear and disinfo – at the expense of legitimate software developers. Even Microsoft’s antivirus had a false positive for Gmail!

It is very difficult, if not impossible, for someone to prove the non-existence of something. I can assure you, I detest malware and spyware as much as any of you.